New Business Development in Practice

NBD405 New Business Development in Practice

Autumn 2022

  • Topics

    The purpose of NBD405 is to provide students a platform where they can work on practice-based new business development projects in collaboration with a Norwegian startup. Through this collaboration students actively contribute to the growth and scale-up of startups and deliver a contribution to the wider entrepreneurial ecosystem in Bergen and other parts of Norway. In these projects, an academic mentor will guide the student teams throughout the semester. In this course, we recruit the startups from key actors in the entrepreneurial ecosystem like: Finance Innovation, medical incubator, Ocean Technology, Innovasjonssenter (VIS),, and Entrepreneurship Academy (BEA).

    You should consider to enroll into this course if you have a passion for entrepreneurship and want to know more about execution of entrepreneurial ideas, are interested to apply your knowledge in economics and business administration on a real startup case, or are otherwise curious to understand how startups transition into a scale-up.

    The course starts in the first week of the semester (week 2 starting on the 10 th of January). During the introduction week, the course coordinator orchestrates the forming of student teams and matching of student teams with a startup case. In addition, you go through a series of compulsory seminars that provides you with the background necessary for completing the project and for adhering to the profile standards for project discipline. During these seminars the student groups:

    • will meet with representatives of the startup and be introduced to the new business development problem/challenge.
    • attend a skill seminar in teamwork and team management skills.·
    • attend seminars focusing on methods and guidelines to work with a real-life project.

    Participation in this first week is mandatory and it is not possible to follow the course if you are not able to attend the first week (no exceptions). Due to mandatory attendance at the first lecture, registration will be closed after the first lecture session in the introductory week.

    Following this mandatory introduction week, students work actively with the startup in addressing the new business development challenge that the startup is confronted with. In the remainder of the semester, the students must attend a series of mandatory seminars, status updates and midterm presentations. The course will conclude with a presentation of the assignment in front of an expert panel. You are also expected to participate in at least one network event during the semester.


    Students who are enrolled in the Norwegian School of Entrepreneurship (Gründerskolen) can take this course as an introductory course (forkurs). Please note that enrollment into Gründerskolen does not grant you special privileges with regards to course attendance and the required activity level. For those who cannot attend this course or who cannot live up to the course requirements are advised to attend any of the other recommended introductory courses offered at different locations in Norway. Please contact the Gründerskolen administration at the University in Oslo.

    More information, including a more detailed description of the schedule can be found here:

  • Learning outcome

    Knowledge - upon successful completion the student

    • has advanced knowledge about new business development processes and how new business models /projects are developed.
    • is able to make critical reflections regarding his/hers practice-based learning.
    • has highly developed knowledge of what kind of resources, networks, competences and strategies that is necessary to advance innovative and entrepreneurial ideas.
    • can evaluate challenges related to sustainability in the development of new businesses.

    Skills - upon successful completion the student

    • has acquired skills in applying theories, knowledge and tools relevant within innovation, entrepreneurship and new business development.
    • is able to take a position in a student team and participate in interactive processes with mentors and other networks.
    • is able to take strategical and knowledge-based decisions during the project process.
    • can access and mobilize the necessary external resources, knowledge and networks

    General competences - upon successful completion the student

    • can plan and execute various tasks, both individually and in groups, that take place over a longer period of time and which are in line with ethical and sustainability requirements and guidelines.
    • is able to disseminate knowledge on theories, problems and solutions in writing, orally and other relevant means.
    • can exchange viewpoints and experience with others based with the point of departure in theories within innovation and entrepreneurship with the purpose to develop good practice.
    • is able to mobilize necessary resources and take strategically and knowledge-based decisions to to advance project-based assignments

  • Teaching

    Introductory week

    In the start of the semester, the students participate in a series of compulsory whole-day seminars. During this first week students are placed into teams and are introduced to the startups that participate in our course. This introductory week is critical, and attendance is compulsory. A detailed schedule will be published by December 2021.

    Topics that will be covered during the introductory week are:

    • Team and Team management
    • Design Thinking
    • Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Goals
    • Commercialization of Innovation
    • Business Models and Lean Startup

    Seminar series

    In addition to this mandatory introduction week we have a couple of shorter seminar sessions spread out over the semester. The topics of these seminars are:

    • Prototyping with MakerSpace (to be confirmed)
    • Pitching bootcamp
    • Presentation technique

    A detailed schedule will be published by December 2021.

    Network events

    In the larger Bergen area different stakeholders hold regular events where you have a chance to meet and mingle with relevant players in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. We expect that you participate in at least one of these events. Some organizers of such events are:

    • StartNHH organizes a series of entrepreneurship talks where entrepreneurs share their experiences (success, failures and challenges) with students in Bergen.
    • Bergen Entrepreneurship Academy is a collaboration between NHH, UiB and HVL. UiB and HVL organize regularly events in and Check out these events and meet students with an entrepreneurship spirit at other institutions in Bergen.
    • ConnectVest , the regional business angel network, holds regular events where entrepreneurship pitch their ideas
    • VIS and have regularly seminars and network events

    Midterm presentation

    As a group you will call in for an individual meeting with the coordinator, your academic mentor, and the startup and will have a one-hour slot to present your progress followed by Q&A. During this midterm presentation you deliver a 5-minute pitch.

    Final presentation

    At the end of the semester, student groups must deliver a 15-minute presentation of the project in front of an expert panel consisting of the course coordinator, the academic supervisor and representatives of the startup.

  • Restricted access

    Please note that registration to this course ends on 10 January 2022

  • Credit reduction due to overlap

    GRU401 - Gründerskolen

  • Compulsory Activity

    The schedule requires a significant effort from the candidates, both during the seminars and between the gatherings. At each gathering, the groups will have to account for the progress of the work. The course has been set up interactively, which involves extensive contact between students, startups, academic mentors and course coordinators.

    Compulsory activities (work requirements) are as follows:

    • participation in the group work (based on peer feedback);
    • participation during the startup week and seminar series is mandatory (based on attendance); and
    • participation in the group presentation (based on attendance)

    Compulsory activities (work requirements) is valid for one semester.

  • Assessment

    The final examination consists out of two parts

    1. Project report (team-work) (60% of the final assessment). Please note that we also include team peer assessment that is factored into the individual grade of the candidate. The purpose of such peer assessment is to assure accountability of individual team-members in the delivery of the final project.
    2. Presentation and oral examination of the business model/project results to an expert panel (team-work) (40% of the final assessment).

    All elements has to be taken in the same semester, and in the semester you attend class.

  • Grading Scale


  • Literature

    Obligatory reading

    • Maurya, A. (2016). Scaling lean: Mastering the key metrics for startup growth. Penguin.

    Additional Compulsory Material

    • Will be posted on Leganto and Canvas

    Recommended reading.

    • Ries, E. (2011). The lean startup: How today's entrepreneurs use continuous innovation to create radically successful businesses. Currency.
    • Sutton, R. I., Rao, H., & Rao, H. (2016). Scaling up excellence: Getting to more without settling for less. Random House.


ECTS Credits
Teaching language

Spring. Offered spring 2022.

Course responsible

Vidya Oruganti, assistant professor, Department of Strategy and Management, NHH